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Extra Curricular Activities??

Posted by: | August 7, 2017 | 4 Comments |

Every blog post I have written so far (and the following blogs in the next few weeks) has dealt with work and the work environment. But ya boy hasn’t just writing blogs and working this whole summer. Oh no, the rowdy strapping group of educated youths at Hatfield Marine Science Center have been taking full advantage of their limited time in Oregon. Ranging from weekend trips to Crater Lake to organized camping trips through Sea Grant and REU program, we’ve been getting as much exposure to (arguably) the most beautiful state in the US.

 

Waterfalls and Mt. Hood

Zach and I were lucky enough to hop on the REU camping trip a few weeks back. The highlight of the trip (besides the wonderful bonding we experienced) was hiking up to the tree line of Mt. Hood. It was a beautiful day for a hike. Not a cloud in the sky, yet there was a coolness in the air that made it perfect for shirts and t-shirts. Crossing snow patches in 85 degree weather just boggled my New England mind. If these snow patches were the leftovers, it made me wonder what these trails looked like at the peak of winter. 14 miles round a trip to just over 9000 feet, not too bad!

Zach and Dimitri, part of the DIVAs (Dads in Vertical Ascent) (Not actual dads), under the snow capped peak of Mt. Hood.

 

Beautiful days in the high 80s with snow are just a recipe for impromptu snow ball fights

 

The REU camping trip also included visiting just a bunch of waterfalls. Of the ones we did visit, two stick out clearly in my mind. Those two were the Tamanawas Falls and the Multnomah Waterfall. The Tamanawas Falls are a huge 100 foot waterfall at the end of a nice easy hike through the forest. There were a few thing that made these falls stand out:

  1. They were about as thick of a waterfall as they come. It wasn’t a wimpy tall stream coming down, the amount of water pouring off of this cliff was unreal! You could hear the roar a good 5 minutes before it properly came into view.
  2. By scrambling over a few moss covered boulders and accepting the fact the spray was going to drench you, you were able to get behind the falls. Behind the falls was a massive cavern that had incredible views of the water pouring down, the stream winding its way through the forest and the mosses that covered every rock that was touched by the spray. I’ve seen some falls in my days, but this was epic.

 

This summer I’ve committed to honing the photography skills I’ve picked up during my online intro to photography 101 class I took 2 years a go. Ya boy is shooting on M!

Multnomah waterfall was great too! Thanks to instagram I felt like I had already seen it a hundred times before, but it was still so much more beautiful in real life than in the pictures. The highlight of this waterfall was that I found my doppelgänger?? A more accurate description is someone who likes kind of like me, but was wearing oddly similar clothing. Naturally I didn’t say a word to him. I opted for a casual walk over and awkwardly stand next to him and his girlfriend. Then, as if life became a scene in a movie, the crowd of tourists staring at the Multnomah falls split and gave professional discreet photographer Zach Clemens the perfect moment to snap a picture. Highlight reel moment for sure.

Me, myself and a bunch of tourists.

The next activity was the Sea Grant camping trip! While not as intense as hiking Mt. Hood it was still in tents!!! Hahaha…. God that was dreadful. I am so sorry. Uh.. anyway, the real highlight of the camping trip was getting the chance to really connect with the South Coast Sea Grants. So many great conversations. It’s so interesting hearing the contrast of Newport and Coos Bay living conditions and all of their projects. It’s a shame we’re very quickly running out of weekends! I’d be super keen to go explore a bit more of the south coast of Oregon. Especially the river snorkeling that Catie was talking about, that sounds so sick!

 

The big activity that we had was visiting the Tamolitch Blue pool. An unreal freshwater spring with water so clear that while it may look 5 feet deep, it’s at least 40 feet in some parts. This perspective change really threw me off when it came time to go cliff jumping. The clearness of the water made it look so much closer than it was! I kept hearing 70 foot cliff, but it just looked life a 30-40 footer. Wrong, it was definitely a 70. I had that realization moment mid air when I found myself thinking that I probably should have hit the water by then, but instead kept on falling. Great stuff! We were also told that the water was around 38 degrees Fahrenheit. But, you hear 38 degrees Fahrenheit and it doesn’t really translate because you have nothing to compare it to. But let me tell you, I’ve never felt water so cold that it made it hard to breathe! It was as if my lungs were being compressed by a large ice block resting on my chest. It was wild. Zach and I joked about bringing our wetsuits, in hindsight, that probably would have been a good idea!

Other highlights include: Allie and her hand + Dutch Bros and their confusion with ordering a normal black coffee + Dustin finding a big fish at night

Zach diving in after a nice 20 minute warm up in the sun

Finally (not really finally for everything we’ve done, but rather for this blog post), last weekend we took it upon ourselves to go camping at Crater Lake! I remember first meeting everyone in Corvallis and having a conversation about how we all are determined to go to Crater Lake this summer. Well guess who did it? Ya interns did. This trip came together as a spur of the moment decision that we decided during the Sea Grant camping trip. With less than a week to plan the trip (mostly done by Julia, thank you Julia), it came together in a hurry. Most camping spots were full, but Julia came through and found some dude on Airbnb that was renting out a camping spot in his yard! However, his yard turned out to be a dusty road in the middle of his farm. There’s nothing like 5 people in a 3 person tent on a slight decline, with some rocks in your spine to put you to sleep at night, am I right? Mediocre sleep aside, it felt like a real adventure and it honestly made the trip so much more interesting. The 2 guys we were staying with lived in a bus with their 3 dogs and 25+ ducks. They were quite the characters and had some very interesting conversations with them about politics, the environment, aliens, and white water rafting. As great as they were, we didn’t come for the conversations. We came for this big ol beautiful lake. You always see pictures of it online. Even National Geographic photographers just can’t seem to capture how incredible it is. Pictures can’t translate the feeling of awe, as you stand before it. That is what gives you the full experience. Can you believe the guys we stayed with had never been there?? They live an hour away! Unreal I tell you, unreal. The hike and drives were incredible. But my favorite moment might have been swimming in the lake itself. Naturally, Zach and I brought our dive masks again. Easily 50 foot visibility with chilly water, but not nearly as cold as Tamolitch! After swimming out for a bit we could see where it drops off. We were able to dive down to stand on the edge of the drop off and peer down into the dark blue. That is so spooky. Even though there isn’t anything that can hurt you living in there (knock on wood) it just made you feel small seeing how awe inspiring it was. 10/10

I really hope this isn’t as blurry as it is in the preview picture…

 

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4 Comments

  1. By: Haley on August 8, 2017 at 4:12 pm      

    It always makes me proud as an Oregonian to hear someone from another state refer to Oregon as the best state ever. Isn’t it amazing to see snowfall in the middle of summer on a hot day? Quite amazing! That’s so awesome to hear that the best part of the OSG trip was hanging with the south coast Scholars. I wish there was more time for everyone to get together more often, alas, those ten weeks really fly by. Also, great photo of Zach jumping in! It almost looks like he’s jumping off the top cliff in that photo. Wow, those sleeping conditions at your Airbnb sounds less than ideal, but I’m so happy you guys still found a way to make it out to Crater Lake!

  2. By: Sarah K on August 9, 2017 at 4:16 pm      

    Great post! Your writing voice is very distinctive. And these sound like cool adventures. Glad you are enjoying your time in OR (and how weird is it to find a doppelganger?!)

  3. By: sea_tys on August 10, 2017 at 10:43 am      

    Thanks! Oregon has been amazing and the weather has been so nice almost the entire time we’ve been here. So weird. I’ve been told that people found my doppelganger before, but I never think they look like me. But this guy, he was spot on. Zach spotted him and honestly thought that he just walked right by me. It was a pretty spiritual experience for sure.

  4. By: sea_tys on August 10, 2017 at 10:45 am      

    Thanks Haley and thanks for organizing the camping trip! I think that having us all together on that trip was the push that made us properly plan a trip to Crater Lake. It’d be so sick if we could hang out with them more, shame they’re so far away. They are super dope. Hopefully they can hang out with us after the presentations next weekend!

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